Ellen Greene

Ellen Greene

Born: February 22, 1951
Age: 70
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
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Ellen Greene (born February 22, 1951) is an American singer and actress. Greene has had a long and varied career as a singer, particularly in cabaret, as an actress and singer in numerous stage productions,[1] particularly musical theatre, as well as having performed in many films—notably Little Shop of Horrors, and television series. From 2007 to 2009, she starred as Vivian Charles on the ABC series Pushing Daisies.

Greene was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother was a guidance counselor, and her father was a dentist.[2] Greene is Jewish.[3] She attended W. Tresper Clarke High School in Westbury, New York. She spent summers at Cejwin Camps in Port Jervis, New York, where she performed in musical theatre productions, including the role of Tzeitel in a 1966 production of Fiddler on the Roof. She had a relationship with puppeteer Martin P. Robinson.[4] [5] Her first marriage was to Tibor Hardik. She married Christian Klikovits on September 25, 2003; they have since divorced.[6]



Greene's career began as a nightclub singer in clubs such as The Brothers and Sisters, Continental Baths, Grand Finale, and Reno Sweeney's. She received rave reviews from critics such as Rex Reed, George Bell, and John S. Wilson. Around this time, she befriended the late Peter Allen. Her first starring role on Broadway was as the lead in the unsuccessful Broadway show Rachael Lily Rosenbloom (And Don't You Ever Forget It), which had 7 previews in 1973 but closed before officially opening.[7] She then played the starring role of Chrissy in Joseph Papp's production of In the Boom Boom Room at the Off-Broadway Public Theatre in November to December 1974.[8] Her reviews brought her to the attention of Paul Mazursky, who was at that time casting Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976).[9] She was cast in the role of Sarah, her first starring role in a film.[10]

Continuing her work with Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival, Greene next played the role of Jenny in The Three Penny Opera (1976) at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in Lincoln Center, for which she was nominated for a 1977 Tony Award, Featured Actress In A Musical.[11]

In addition to a number of other productions with the New York Shakespeare Festival and numerous other companies, Greene formed a close working relationship with the WPA Theatre, where she met Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. Their close, long-lasting friendship led to, among other productions, the role for which she is perhaps most-widely known, that of the hapless Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors (1982),[12] a role she reprised in the film version opposite Rick Moranis.

Greene has worked extensively in theater, such as the part of Suzanne/The Little Rose in The Little Prince and the Aviator (1981).[13][14]

She has worked in films such as I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can (1982)[15], Léon, Talk Radio (1987)[16], and Pump Up the Volume (1990)[17]

She has appeared on television in, among other programs, Miami Vice, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, Cybill, Law & Order, Suddenly Susan, The X-Files, and Heroes. In 1983 she was the voice of Creeping Ivy in the animated TV special The Magic of Herself the Elf.

Greene released an album in 2004 entitled In His Eyes, on which she was accompanied by her husband and musical director, Christian Klikovits. Other work includes the role of Vivian Charles on the television series Pushing Daisies (2007)[18] and the voice of Dolly Gopher in the animated Out of Jimmy's Head. Greene was the voice of the Priscilla Presley type of character Goldie in the Don Bluth film Rock-a-Doodle (1991)[19].

In July and August 2009, Greene starred as Miss Adelaide in a concert version of the musical Guys and Dolls, which had a 3-day engagement at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California. Her co-stars included Scott Bakula as Nathan Detroit, Brian Stokes Mitchell as Sky Masterson, and Jessica Biel as Sarah Brown.[20] In 2011, she appeared in five episodes on the soap opera The Young and the Restless as Primrose DeVille.[21]

Greene performed in the musical Betwixt! at the Trafalgar Studios in London's West End from July 26 to August 20, 2011.[22]

She appeared in two episodes of the new ABC Family show Bunheads (2012), alongside Sutton Foster and Kelly Bishop.[23] She portrayed Doctor Gale Macones in The Walking Dead Webisodes: The Oath[24]

In 2015, she reprised her signature role as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors in the staged concert at the New York City Center as part of their Encores! Off-Center Series.[25]

Greene performed in the 2016 Democratic National Convention's "Fight Song" video.[26]


Greene (left) with fellow Pushing Daisies star Swoosie Kurtz


Year Title Role Notes
1976 Next Stop, Greenwich Village Sarah Roth
1982 I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can Karen Mulligan
1986 Little Shop of Horrors Audrey
1988 Me and Him Annette Uttanzi
1988 Talk Radio Ellen
1990 Pump Up the Volume Jan Emerson
1991 Rock-a-Doodle Goldie (voice)
1991 Stepping Out Maxine
1992 Fathers & Sons Judy
1994 Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult Louise
1994 Wagons East Belle
1994 Léon: The Professional Mathilda's Mother
1995 Killer: A Journal of Murder Elizabeth Wyatt
1996 An Occasional Hell Della
1996 One Fine Day Elaine Lieberman
1997 States of Control Carol
1998 Jaded Louise Smith
2001 Alex in Wonder Clarice
2003 The Cooler Doris
2003 Love Object Typing Supervisor
2010 Privileged Mrs. Rothman Video
2016 Muddy Corman Dawn Denford
2017 Love's Last Resort Ms. Leigh
2018 The Untold Story Lydia Completed


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Seventh Avenue Paula Class TV miniseries
1978 The Rock Rainbow Jess TV film
1983 The Magic of Herself the Elf' Creeping Ivy (voice) TV film
1985 Miami Vice Darlene "Made for Each Other"
1987 Morning Maggie Maggie McAllister TV film
1988 Superman 50th Anniversary Ariel Dickenson TV film documentary
1989 Glory! Glory! Ruth TV film
1989 CBS Summer Playhouse Sally Maggio "Road Show"
1989 Dinner at Eight Kitty Packard TV film
1994 The Adventures of Pete & Pete Abilene Jones "Time Tunnel"
1995 Cybill Sharon "How Can I Call You My Ex-Husbands If You Won't Go Away?", "Look Who's Stalking"
1995 Law & Order Karen Gaines "Bitter Fruit"
1997 Dellaventura Elizabeth Brodkin "Above Reproach"
2000 Suddenly Susan Harriet Graham "The Break Up"
2002 The X-Files Vicki Louise Burdick "Improbable"
2002 Crossing Jordan Mrs. Dunham "Secrets & Lies: Part 2"
2005 Mystery Woman: Sing Me a Murder Carly TV film
2005 Fielder's Choice Jill TV film
2006 Re-Animated Dolly Gopher (voice) TV film
2007-08 Out of Jimmy's Head Dolly Gopher (voice) Main role
2007-2009 Pushing Daisies Vivian Charles Main role
2007-2009 Heroes Virginia Grey "The Hard Part", "I Am Sylar", "Tabula Rasa"
2009 Batman: The Brave and the Bold Mrs. Manface (voice) "Night of the Huntress!"
2011 The Young and the Restless Primrose DeVille Recurring role
2012 Pound Puppies Gertrude Washburn (voice) "Olaf in Love"
2012 Bunheads Wiccan Friend "For Fanny", "Movie Truck"
2013 Hannibal Mrs. Komeda "Sorbet"
2013 The Walking Dead: The Oath Gale "Bond", "Choice"
2017 Tangled: The Series Mrs. Sugarby (voice) "Painter's Block"


Sources: Internet Off-Broadway Database[27]; Playbill Vault[28]

  • Rachael Lily Rosenbloom (And Don't You Ever Forget It) (1973) (never officially opened)[29]
  • In the Boom Boom Room (1974) (Off-Broadway)
  • The Threepenny Opera (1976) (Broadway)
  • The Threepenny Opera (1977) (Delacorte Theater) (return engagement)
  • Funny Face (1978) (Studio Arena Theater)
  • Teeth 'n' Smiles (1979) (Off-Broadway)[30]
  • Wake Up, It's Time to Go to Bed (1979) (Off-Broadway) by Carson Kievman
  • They're Playing Our Song (1979) (US national tour)[31]
  • The Little Prince and the Aviator (1982) (never officially opened)
  • Little Shop of Horrors (1982) (Off-Off Broadway showcase, Off-Broadway and London)
  • Starting Monday (1990) (Off-Broadway)
  • Weird Romance (1992) (Off-Broadway)
  • Three Men on a Horse (1993) (Broadway)
  • The First Picture Show (1999) (San Francisco)[32]
  • A Broadway Diva Christmas (2005) (Women's Project)[33]
  • Guys and Dolls (2009) (Hollywood Bowl concert)[20]
  • Betwixt! (2011) (London)[34][22]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated Work Result
1977 Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical[35] The Threepenny Opera Nominated
1983 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical[36] Little Shop of Horrors Nominated
Laurence Olivier Award Best Actress in a Musical[37] Nominated

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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